By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik
YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 11, 2014) – The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, earned the 2013 Excellence in Intelligence and Information Warfare Award (EIIWA), April 8.
The EIIWA recognized the carrier and carrier air wing intelligence and information warfare team that best demonstrated superior afloat intelligence and information warfare readiness and performance in support of operations.
“This is a very significant award as it is George Washington’s first time winning the [EIIWA],” said Cmdr. David Wolynski, George Washington’s intelligence officer. “From an Intelligence and Information Warfare perspective, it is the top Fleet award.”
George Washington and CVW 5 competed against all U.S. Pacific Fleet strike groups for this award.
“This is an excellent way to give credit to the hard work our Sailors do every day as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces,” said Wolynski. “Our Sailors provide exceptional 24/7 support to the ship’s watch standers, Commander Task Force (CTF) 70, CVW 5, and Destroyer Squadron 15.”
The competition for the EIIWA detailed contributions by the entire afloat Information Dominance Corps (IDC) community. The two winners, USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) on the east coast and George Washington on the west coast, exemplified superior performance through significant and lasting IDC contributions and trail blazing initiatives that delivered timely intelligence to afloat, fleet and theater decision-makers.
“All of the major evolutions that each of the intelligent and information warfare departments do, from being properly trained and executing daily intelligence operations, is recognized by this award,” said Cmdr. Kyle Leese, CTF 70’s intelligence officer. “We are the only strike group that maintains a 24/7, 365 day responsibility for conducting real world intelligence operations.”
The George Washington Strike Group’s intelligence watch at all levels does not stand down when they return to port like other strike groups back home.
“We are the only strike group that is forward-deployed at all times, and must maintain a physical presence in our area of operations,” said Leese. “That keeps us sharp so that when we do depart, we are ready.”
The Indo-Asia-Pacific region is a complex and extremely challenging intelligence and information warfare environment that demands a high level of effort daily.
“Without everybody coming together in unity of effort, we would not have received this award,” said Leese. “The EIIWA basically recognizes our unity, so it really says a lot about the team effort and the overall competence of the Sailors we have out here.”